UCSB softball signs six heralded recruits

UC Santa Barbara head softball coach Brie Galicinao has signed six student-athletes to National Letters of Intent it was announced this week. Lauren Boser, Andriana Collins, Kendall Gill, Brittany Grier, McKenzie Kane and Kathryn Pilpil will join the Gauchos for the 2010-11 season.

“It’s kind of hard to not be excited about the future of Gaucho softball when thinking about the 2010 class and our group of returners next year,” said head coach Brie Galicinao. “In addition to the overall athletic talent of next year’s incoming class, their can-do attitudes and experience with playing for strong club and high school teams with continue to help raise the bar for our entire team.”

Lauren Boser is a left-handed hitter and first baseman that hails from Valencia, Calif. With Valencia High School, Boser won the 2008 CIF Division I Southern Section Championship. She is a two-time All-Foothill League Second Team selection and was also named Valencia’s Most Inspirational Player in 2009.

“First base is one of those positions where athletes don’t always have a chance to be noticed defensively, but we’ve seen Lauren make a lot of smart, athletic plays at the corner,” said Galicinao. “She’ll have a chance to compete for the first base spot and contribute to the line up because she can mix it up from the left side by hitting for power or reading the defense and playing the short game.”

Andriana Collins is a left-handed pitcher that hails from Fairfield, Calif. With Rodriguez High School, she had a banner year in 2009, helping her team to the CIF Division III Championship title as well as the Solano County League Championship. She was named a NFCA Honorable Mention All-American and was also named to the Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-West First Team. She is a two-time All-League First Team honoree and was named the Co-Pitcher of the Year in 2009.

“AC is going to round out our pitching staff with (Krista) Cobb and (Jenny) Liepman nicely,” Galicinao assessed. “She has tremendous spin and movement on all of her pitches; she moves the ball on all plains and has an effective off-speed pitch. As much success as she’s had in her career, I’m looking forward to working with her next year because she still has room to be even more impressive.”

Kendall Gill is a catcher that will come to UCSB via Wilton, Calif. At Capital Christian High School she has twice been named First Team All-State Small School and was the Golden Empire League’s Most Valuable Player in 2009. She ranked first in the Sac-Joaquin Section for batting average (.658), slugging percentage (1.165) and on-base percentage (.730) this past spring while also ranking sixth for her on-base percentage nationally. An academic standout, she has earned Academic All-Golden Empire League honors three times.

“K. Gill is the type of player you want in your dugout; she plays and practices full throttle all the time and is a very vocal leader on the field,” Galicinao commented. “She has a lot to offer behind the plate with her strength and heads-up play, and she’s a smart hitter that works her at-bats well and definitely has power potential at the college level.”

Brittany Grier is a catcher and utility player that comes from Corona, Calif. An All-CIF Southern Section selection out of Notre Dame High School, she is also a three-time First Team All-Mountain Pass League pick and two-time Offensive Player of the Year for the Titans. During her three seasons on the varsity squad, she has served as team captain during two of them. Academically, she has been a three-year High Honors Scholar Athlete and is also a member of the California Scholastic Federation. She led her team with a .522 batting average and led the league with her 35 RBI’s.

“With her softball knowledge and technical ability, Brittany is the type of player who’s always engaged in the game and could compete behind the plate, at a corner, or in the outfield for us,” said Galicinao. “She hits pretty consistently for a gap-to-gap power and she’s another player in this class who has potential to hit for extra bases consistently at the next level.”

McKenzie Kane is an outfielder and left-handed slapper that hails from Anaheim Hills, Calif. At Orange Lutheran High School, she is a dual sport athlete, competing in both track and field as well as softball. She earned First Team All-Trinity League in 2009 in addition to earning First Team All-CIF Division I honors. During the 2009 season, she posted a .441 batting average, .461 on-base percentage and .468 slugging percentage. She is a three-year member of the honor roll and won the National Society of High School Scholars Award in 2008.

“McKenzie is noticeably fast on the bases and athletic,” Galicinao commented. “She transitioned to be a left-handed slapper offensively and moved from shortstop to outfield later in her softball career; it’s been fun to watch her softball skills develop this past year and she’s grown as both a leadoff offensive threat and center fielder who covers a ton of ground.”

Kathryn Pilpil plays both infield and outfield and hails from Oxnard, Calif. At Oxnard High School, she was the 2009 team captain, Most Valuable Player and has twice earned First Team All-Pacific View League. Pilpil also led the PVL this past season in batting average (.593), slugging percentage (.915) and on-base percentage (.653).

“Kat is tough at the plate; she has great speed, hits for power, and really knows the game,” Galicinao assessed. “She plays on a club team that runs the bases pretty aggressively and I’m excited to add that kind of aggressiveness to our roster. She’s very versatile defensively – we’ve seen her play in multiple positions on the field and even catch – and she’ll be able to compete in the infield or outfield for us.”

This signing class will be brought in to fill the vacancies left by the 2010 graduating class, which includes pitchers Lindsey Correa and MeLinda Matsumoto, outfielder Priscilla Perez, infielder Jessica Ziegler and catcher Kelsey Anderson.

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